Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "We believe, as Catholic Church, that education is the key to transforming society, in the process of proposing the proclamation of the Gospel". This is what was expressed by Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, who was invited at the Australian Catholic University, on the North Sydney campus, to share the path undertaken with the help of "Catholic Mission", Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia. Educational projects were at the center of this meeting as the Ethiopian government recently urged the Church of Ethiopia to build more Catholic schools across the country. "This is a gift we can make to society - says Cardinal Souriaphiel - Our Catholic schools are open to all and focus not only on the transmission of information and school knowledge, but also on teaching values that focus on peaceful coexistence and mutual respect".
In collaboration with local communities and the Church of Ethiopia, Catholic Mission is currently involved in four significant projects, three of which are directly linked to the educational commitment. In the city of Meki, for example, a professional center has been developed to promote the education of women in a country where 83% of them are illiterate. Since the beginning of the project, the Kidist Mariam Pastoral Center has supported more than 8,000 women in a socio-economic context in which very often they are forced to look for work abroad, running the risk of exploitation.
Catholic Mission is also collaborating with Lideta Catholic Cathedral School to offer scholarships to children of families who otherwise would not have access to school education. "This school offers many advantages to students in both educational growth and spiritual development - continues Cardinal Souraphiel - students who come from this school manage to enter university brilliantly. Most of them now work in Ethiopia and occupy key positions for the development of their country". (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 27/5/2022)